ANIMAL welfare charities are warning pet owners that rock salt could kill their pets.
Ingesting rock salt which contains antifreeze could be lethal to dogs and cats.
Rock salt can cause dehydration, liver failure and pancreatitis, while antifreeze contains the ethylene glycol which can be lethal when ingested and pets lick it from their paws because it tastes sweet.
“Grit is poisonous to dogs and cats,” said Amy Everett, kennel assistant at Cleadon Kennels.
“If they walk on it and then lick their paws they can die from it.
“We haven’t seen any fatal cases or dogs sick from it here at the kennels, thankfully.”
The symptoms of consuming anti-freeze are vomiting, seizures and heightened breathing rate.
Symptoms of ingesting rock salt – which contains magnesium as well as sodium chloride – are burns to the mouth and throat, excessive salivating and fluid consumption.
The RSPCA is advising people on how to care for their pets as rock salt is spread during the cold snap.
“Always contact a vet if you’re concerned, never watch and wait in the case of a suspected poisoning,” said Leanne Plumtree, spokeswoman for the RSPCA.
“Never attempt to induce vomiting. This should only be carried out by a veterinary professional. We advise pet owners to make sure they clean their dog’s paws after taking them out for a walk.”
Animal charities have also warned pet owners to take extra care when using anti-freeze, or de-icer.
People are advised to mop up any spillages of the fluid and clean their animals’ paws.
Information on preventing poisoning in pets can be found at www.rspca.org.uk/poisoning